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Emergency Room Staff, Certified Peer Counselors and Naloxone: Working Together to Save Lives

As part of a multi-pronged approach to stem the tide of opioid overdose deaths, the Baltimore County Department of Health and elected officials provided naloxone to four Baltimore County hospitals today. Greater Baltimore Medical Center, MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, Northwest Hospital and University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center each received approximately 1,200 doses of the medication to distribute to high risk patients being discharged from the hospitals. 

“Naloxone saves lives but only if it is available on the spot, in the moment it is needed,” said Baltimore County Executive Don Mohler. “This important partnership with our hospitals means we empower their peer support counselors to get this life-saving medication into the hands of family and friends who can save the lives of their loved ones.”

Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch, Director of the Department of Health and Human Services presented the hospitals with a supply of NARCAN® (an intra-nasal brand of naloxone) calling it the drug of second chances. “Naloxone works! We know that this drug saves lives when administered in time,” said Dr. Branch. “Making it available in our local emergency rooms can mean giving someone a second chance to change their life trajectory.”

“We are honored to team with Baltimore County in our commitment to reduce opioid deaths,” said Sandy Winfield, MS, FACHE, vice president of Clinical and Support Services at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center. “We are grateful for this generous donation that unfortunately, has become vitally important to the cause.”

“I strongly believe that by working together, community hospitals and our county government can make a serious impact,” said Jeffrey P. Sternlicht, MD, FACEP, chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center. “We are proud to be a part of this collaborative effort to provide the delivery of this life-saving medication and to help those that are struggling with their addiction.”

Providing naloxone to the four Baltimore County hospitals is just one of the ways the Department of Health is working to reduce the number of deaths caused by opioid overdose. The County has also increased the number of certified peer recovery specialists who focus on helping others to break the grip of addiction. These peer recovery specialists will work with others connected with the four hospitals to provide support, resources and services to people in the community as well as those who have been treated in local emergency rooms for addiction-related issues.   

Distribution of naloxone is also a part of ongoing training sessions that occur across Baltimore County each month. These free, two-hour sessions provide education to the community about the dangers of illicit opioid use, available resources for those in need of services, and instructions on how to effectively administer the drug to reverse an opioid overdose.

Visit www.baltimorecountymd.gov/odresponse or call 410-887-3224 for a listing of upcoming training dates and locations.


Event Features Interactive Panel Discussions

The Baltimore County Commission for Women will host its second Diversity Dimensions forum on Tuesday, April 17 at the Arbutus branch of the Baltimore County Public Library. The free event will begin at 6:00 p.m. and registration is required.

Diversity Dimensions is a series of interactive panel discussions, sponsored by the Baltimore County Commission for Women, where women can share ideas and explore their differences in a safe, positive and nurturing environment. The first forum was held in September 2017 in Randallstown, and the third forum will be held this fall in the White Marsh area.

“Attendees will hear from a group of women who have experienced challenging hurdles and been motivated to move beyond simple tolerance, embraced rich dimensions of diversity and demanded equality of treatment,” said Commission for Women President Bella Santos Owens.

 Guest panelists include:

  • Vicki Almond, Councilwoman–District 2, Baltimore County
  • Karen Mazer, Founder/Owner, Synchronicity Boutique
  • Candace Breland Osunsade, Senior VP, National Aquarium of Baltimore
  • Danette Zaghari-Mask, Nonprofit and Compliance Attorney

Baltimore County Commission for Women was established by an act of the Baltimore County Council on January 3, 1977. Its mission is to educate, identify and advocate for programs, legislation, and services to meet the needs of the women of Baltimore County. Learn more about the Commission for Women on the County website.


The updated library features new, enclosed spaces and upgraded technology

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and Baltimore County Public Library Director Paula Miller are pleased to announce that the Randallstown Branch has reopened after an extensive renovation and technology upgrade. The library closed for renovation on January 29.

Amenities and features of the Randallstown Branch include a large reservable meeting room (capacity 221), newly enclosed children and teen spaces, four study rooms, free WiFi, 33 public desktop computers, one children’s computer, and a large collection of print and audio-visual library materials. New shelving, comfortable seating, signage and updated public restrooms complement the modernized space.

The branch also features a Center of Excellence, the COLAB, which is a technology/maker cooperative space that includes items such as 20+ laptop computers, an HTC Vive virtual reality system, Microsoft HoloLens holographic computer, PlayStation 4 console with VR Bundle and games, Sphero SPRK and Ollie robots, and snap circuits. On the horizon for the branch are a Kano build-it-yourself computer with coding kit and a 3D printer.

“We thank our customers for their patience as we renovated the Randallstown Branch to bring 21st century library services to the community,” said BCPL Director Paula Miller. “In addition to books and electronic resources, this update allows us to provide transformative experiences and user-friendly spaces that make a positive difference in peoples’ lives.”

A collaborative effort of BCPL and Baltimore County Government, this $1.1 million project was funded in part through a grant from the County Library Capital Grant Program, Maryland State Department of Education, Division of Library Development and Services.

“This $1.1 million project has transformed the popular Randallstown Branch into a state-of-the-art community hub for people to access technology and benefit from a larger collection of library materials, great children and teen spaces, an attractive meeting room and so much more,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.

Branch programs resume on Saturday, July 1 from 2-3 p.m. with the Build a Better World Science Show with Science Guys of Baltimore. Starting on Monday, July 3, the Randallstown Branch will begin its weekday Lunch and Learn series, where children 18 and under will enjoy crafts or fun hands-on learning experiences along with free boxed lunches.

Baltimore County Public Library (BCPL) has served the citizens of Baltimore County since 1948. With 19 branches throughout Baltimore County, BCPL empowers and engages individuals for a more inclusive and connected Baltimore County community, and provides opportunities to explore, learn, create and connect. In addition to loaning books, library card holders may borrow DVDs, music, e-books and gain access to our research databases. Branches provide computer and internet access, job search assistance and offer a multitude of daily learning programs for adults and children. For more information about branches and services, visit bcpl.info or follow BCPL on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


 
 
Revised September 11, 2017